Thanks To Those Of You Who Responded To Our Survey!!
The Senior Advisory Committee completed administering an Age-Friendly Survey to all Petaluma residents over the age of 55 on December 28th, 2020. The goal of the survey is to help make Petaluma a better place to age in. Results will be made public in 2021.
What is Age Friendly?
Age-friendly is a world-wide movement focused on creating livable communities for people of all ages. It was formalized by the World Health Organization in 2006 and the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities was launched in 2012 to support the effort in this country.
To date, 484 U.S. communities and six states have committed to becoming age-friendly. The movement involves over 240 people worldwide.
Sonoma County joined the World Health Organizations Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities in 2016, establishing a commitment to the County’s aging population and laying the groundwork for the incorporated cities to join the cause. Petaluma became the second city in Sonoma County to commit to becoming age-friendly when it joined the AARP Network early in 2020. We hope to serve as a model for other cities in the region who recognize the importance of fostering sustainable communities for all its residents.
Why Age Friendly?
The United Nations estimates that the global population of individuals 60 years and older will be 1.2 Billion by 2025 and 2 billion by 2050. In 2018, the US Census Bureau estimated that approximately 16.1% of Petaluma residents were 65 years old or older. By 2022, the Sonoma County Economic Development Board estimates that the City of Petaluma’s 65+ population will have grown to 19.1%. While these trends are not unique to Petaluma, it was important that the City acknowledged the shift in an aging demographic and seize opportunities to invest in Age Friendly initiatives.
8 Domains for Age Friendly Living
The WHO has identified eight individual domains of livability that influence the quality of life for older adults. The eight domains have been incorporated into the Age Friendly City designation as a framework to help guide cities and counties in deciding what community features have the biggest impact on the well-being of older adults. The eight domains include:
- Community and Health Services – Support livable communities aimed at improving physical and mental health, reducing social pathology, and strengthening social immune systems.
- Communication and Information –Access to affordable high-speed internet services. Information disseminated through diverse channels. Technology and educational workshops.
- Civic Participation and Employment – Supportive services for senior employment programs. Skills training, educational opportunities, and tax aide support.
- Respect and Social Inclusion – Intergenerational activities, strategies to support the aging LGBT community, support of the cultural arts.
- Social Participation – Availability of accessible, affordable and engaging social activities.
- Housing – Dwellings designed or modified to help residents age in place across socio-economic classes. Encourage visitability to ensure ease of access for people with mobility challenges.
- Transportation – Public transit options, pedestrian safety, bicycle master plan, complete streets, specialized transportation.
- Outdoor Spaces and Buildings – Public places to gather. Green spaces, safe streets, sidewalks, outdoor seating and accessible buildings.
How is the AARP Involved?
AARP is a US-based organization focusing on issues affecting those over the age of fifty. It is an affiliate of the WHO’s Global Network, providing support to those cities interested in applying for membership by facilitating the application and implementation process.